Friday, July 18, 2014

What Jesus Really Said about Homosexuality

Greetings, mortals!  In my last post, I explained why the account of Creation in Genesis is not, as many infidels claim, self-contradictory.  Now I want to take on another frequent claim of nonbelievers, the weak in faith, and the heretics: that Jesus never condemned homosexuality.

Before I begin, let me make one thing clear: I believe lesbians, gays, bisexuals, the transgendered, and those questioning their sexuality are equally as human as heterosexuals.  God made them as they are.  Their sexuality is not a choice.  They should be afforded the same civil rights, privileges, and dignities as heterosexuals.  They should not be subjected to mistreatment of any kind -- and especially not violence -- because of their sexual orientation. 

It is, rather, incumbent on LGBTQ individuals to constantly suppress and never act on their desires.  Because while loving God instilled in each LGBTQ person a sexual orientation (and the fundamental personal needs that come with it), loving God also deems that orientation to be an abomination.

Did Jesus really say nothing against homosexuality in the Bible?

If you read only the text of the Bible, yes, Jesus says nothing explicitly against homosexuals or homosexuality. Given that homosexuality has always existed in God's Creation, Jesus's teaching that we should love our neighbors as ourselves, and that that commandment of empathy and mutual respect is greater than all the others, even strongly implies that we should regard LGBTQ individuals as no less normal, human, and worthy of the right to freely express their love and commitment to one another than heterosexuals.

But remember, all of the Bible is literally true.  And Jesus Christ, Son of God, is omniscient and consubstantial with our Almighty Father.  So when God inspired the authors of Leviticus to write that "[y]ou shall not lie with a male as with a woman.  It is an abomination.", we know Jesus was saying that, too.  So what we need to do is read Jesus' teachings in the New Testament with His & God's shared commands in the Old Testament in pari materia -- in other words, we assume that the Old Testament laws and the New Testament laws, all of which are the inerrant and absolute Word of God, are consistent with one another.

Bearing that in mind, does Jesus condemn homosexuality as an abomination in the New Testament?  Yes, he does, in his greatest teaching of hope in a merciful and loving God: the Beatitudes.

Dude, are you sure you want to go there?  Even Monty Python's Flying Circus found these above mockery in The Life of Brian and instead used the "blessed are the cheesemakers" joke about Jesus being hard to hear from so far away.

Yes!  We evangelicals must be brave in our faith if we are to persevere in the face of constantly having our beliefs undermined by facts and reason.  So even though doing this may bring me condemnation, I will demonstrate that the Beatitudes, Christ's message of hope to all humanity, are, in fact, anti-LGBTQ screed.

How the Beatitudes Plainly Condemn Homosexuality

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Many take this as Jesus offering comfort to those who are unhappy in their mortal life by reassuring them that they will find comfort in God.  Not so!  Remember, Jesus has perfect knowledge of everything, past, present, and future.  He knew that "gay" would go from meaning "happy" to, you know, the other thing.  

Since Jesus knew "rich in spirit"="happy"="gay"="homosexual," we therefore see that here, Christ clearly meant "poor in spirit"="not happy"="not gay"="heterosexual."  So this passage should actually be read, "Blessed are the straight, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Is this a reassurance that those suffering the pain of lost loved ones will find solace in God?  While that seems to be its plain -- and only -- meaning, no.  Remember, bereavement in Judaism has clear stages.  During many of those stages, people in mourning are prohibited from attending festive occasions, listening to music, or dancing.  

And despite the fact that for as long as there have been Jews, there have been observant gay Jews who keep to all of their faith's teachings and traditions, including those concerning bereavement, we all know that gay people love festivities, good music, and dancing so much that they couldn't observe the proper stages of mourning.  As such, gays wouldn't fall into Christ's category of "they that mourn."

So here, obviously, Christ is saying, "Blessed are the straight, for they shall be comforted."

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Many suggest that what Jesus meant here is that those who are gentle and kind will be rewarded for their good treatment of others.  That is also incorrect.

As we all know, despite all evidence to the contrary, homosexuals work aggressively to convert others to their deviant "lifestyle/inborn and unmodifiable essential identity."  Anti-gay heterosexuals, by contrast, merely defend themselves against such aggression with violence, oppression, ostracization, population-level discrimination, invidious discrimination, psychological abuse, and disgust (whether patent or veiled).  So, as is plain on the face of this Beatitude, Jesus here means that LGBTQ persons are not meek, and heterosexuals are.  

Furthermore, as we all know, since gay people don't have children, they don't have direct heirs to whom they can pass on their lands.  They consequently and leave such property to the descendants of their heterosexual relatives.

In short, this Beatitude means, "Blessed are the straight, for they shall be rewarded by God and, incidentally, inherit their gay relatives' property."

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."

This one's straightforward: Christ's saying that those who long for equal justice for all humanity will find it in Heaven.  It's His message that fairness and justice are the due of all humanity.

Remember, though, that it's the job of LGBTQ individuals to behave like they're straight so they can be treated equally in the eyes of laws written to discriminate against non-heterosexuals.  To do otherwise would be to allow sin against God's Design, per the passage from Leviticus cited above.  And Christians must do what they can to aid those non-heterosexual persons who seek to abide by God's will.

We see, therefore, that this passage actually reads, "Blessed are they that make available gay conversion therapy, for they shall be filled in a way other than having the homosexual agenda crammed down their throats."

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

Christ knew that being merciful is a tough thing.  Showing kindness to those who have wronged you in a moment when you have power over them is extraordinarily difficult.  It is rarely as immediately satisfying as exacting revenge, or, for that matter, imposing appropriate punishment.  In addition, the rewards for being merciful are always delayed -- assuming they ever come to you at all.  So here, Christ is saying that those who are kind the weak despite their greater power will themselves be shown mercy for their own transgressions.

What does this have to do with LGBTQ persons?  Well, this Beatitude, in contrast to the others, addresses them directly.  

As I mentioned above, the homosexual agenda is pursued aggressively.  Gays work out, like, a lot, and are therefore much stronger than the average heterosexual.  And, as we all know, the temptation to engage in homosexual behavior is nearly overwhelming for everybody.  Not because I'm gay!  I'm totally not.  But, know, you imagine stuff, right?  Everyone does, right?  And if it's an option -- an acceptable option -- how can you not take the chance to tell the Archangel Uriel how you really feel about him?  

He's so dreamy.

Uh, anyway, I digress.  In short, homosexuals are ideologically aggressive, physically superior, and wielding a nearly overpowering temptation into sinful behavior.  So what Christ is saying here is, in short, "Blessed are the gay people who show mercy by concealing their essential selves and don't exhibit their sexuality in public, for they shall be left alone by heterosexuals in the afterlife."

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

This one should be obvious without any explication.  As mentioned above, Jesus (who is one in being with God) said in Leviticus that gay relations are sinful.  Ergo, people who engage in non-heterosexual relations are not pure in heart, and shall not see God.

Just a reminder: sexual orientation is given to you by God as an aspect of His perfect Creation.  It's not a sin to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.  It's simply that following through on that God-given orientation earns you a ticket straight to Hell.

Anyway!  This Beatitude is, in other words, "Blessed are they who, despite their longing for an authentic, loving connection with another human being to whom they are attracted by dint of the bio- and neurochemical processes that make up the core of their being, ignore those urges and falsely behave like heterosexuals, for they shall see God."

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God."

This is another straightforward one.  It also builds on the principles stated in the last two Beatitudes, thus showing the rigor and consistency of Christ's messages of Mercy.  This simply means, "Blessed are those faithful who work to quell the aggression of homosexuals by helping voluntary participants in 'pray away the gay' therapy and thus delay the otherwise inevitable hegemony of the LGBTQ agenda over all humanity, for they will be honored above all others by God."

"Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

Alright!  Last one, and a bit of the break from the previous teachings, because it's not a code.  It means exactly what it says: Those who are targeted and harmed for being righteous individuals will be rewarded for their perseverance with eternity in Heaven.  That's all.  That's it.  

As always, mortals, thank you for read--

Wait!  This includes straight people who are offended by gayness, try to get them to stop being gay, and are criticized for discriminating, right?

Nope.  Witnessing something you personally find icky isn't persecution.  Neither is being called out for saying things or behaving in ways your contemporaries consider discriminatory.

What about when I'm called a bigot or homophobe for voicing my opinions about gays?

Also not persecution.  It's not the nicest thing to say, but let's be honest, you probably earned it.

But if my children see people being gay, they'll--

Be straight or gay based on their God-given nature.  Relax.

But you said gay people who conceal their essential selves will be rewarded!  Shouldn't I tell them to--

No.  The reward they get in Heaven from Almighty God is to be left alone by people like you.  What does that tell you about what God wants for them now?

Um, for me to leave them alo--


Well, that was fun!  Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Debunking the Claim that the Book of Genesis Contradicts Itself

Greetings, mortals!  During my time interacting with you, many have confronted me with supposed "contradictions" in the Bible.  The favorite "contradictions" of apostates, atheists, and infidels seem to be the order and manner of creation in the Book of Genesis.  "Did God create man before beasts, or beasts before man?  Did He fashion waterfowl of the water, or of the ground?"  I wanted to take time out from my usual work of concealing God's Creation in mundane phenomena (and blogging about it) to address and resolve these questions.

Because if you don't stop asking them, trust me, you will go to Hell.

What is the order of creation in Genesis?

According to Genesis 1, God Created all that is, seen and unseen, in this order:
  1. Heaven (Gen 1:1);
  2. A formless Earth, which was nothing but a dark ocean on which God walked (Gen 1:2);
  3. Light;
  4. Night and day, after which the first day and night passed (Gen 1:4-5); 
  5. A firmament to divide the waters above and below, which firmament He called Heaven (Gen 1:7-8);
  6. Dry land on Earth, created by gathering all the waters below the firmam...uh, also one place. (Gen 1:9-10);
  7. Grass, herbs, and fruit are brought forth from the Earth (Gen 1:11-12);
  8. Night and  Then, the seasons, days and years (Gen 1:14);
  9. Light upon the Earth (Gen 1:15);
  10. The Sun to rule the day and the Moon to rule the night, plus the stars (Gen 1:16);
  11. Um, okay.  Then Light upon the Earth.  Again.  This time by way of setting the Sun, Moon and stars in the firmament of Heaven (the Heaven under the half of the dark ocean from item 5, above, not the Heaven in item 1, which is geographically unrelated to said dark ocean), thereby separating night from day.  Again.  (Gen 1:17-18);
  12. Every creature that has life is made from the waters, including whales, fish, waterfowl, and every single creature that moves. (Gen 1:20-21);
  13. Ohh, boy. Um, at this point, God creates the creatures of the land, as distinct from every single creature that moves, from the earth. (Gen 1:24-25);
  14. Finally, God makes men and women in His image and grants them dominion over all other creatures of the land, sea, and air. (Gen 1:26-30).
Okay, that went somewhat less smoothly than I expected it to.  But have faith!   All these "contradictions" will be proven to not be contradictions at all, because all things are possible with God.  On to Genesis 2!  

We pick up right where we left off.  Genesis 2 acknowledges that "[t]hus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them," adopting in total the recitation of Genesis 1.  It continues with the following additional matters of Creation:
  1. God rests on the Seventh Day (Gen 2:2).
  2. He sees that...ah, Christ.  He sees that while the grasses, herbs, and fruit are in the ground, the ground has not yet been tilled and it had not yet rained, so none of those plants, which He, in his omnipotence, willed forth from the Earth in Gen 1:11-12 actually came forth. (Gen 2:5);
  3. God fashions one man, Adam, from the dust of the earth.  Adam is utterly alone. (Gen 2:7);
  4. God wills forth trees in Eden (this time successfully). (Gen 2:9);
  5. God places Adam in Eden to tend it. (Gen 2:15);
  6. Because Adam is utterly alone, God forms from the earth all the beasts of the earth, again, and fowl of the air...again.  But from earth, not water. (Gen 2:18-20);
  7. Finally, God creates the one and only woman from Adam's rib (Gen 2:20-23).

What are the apparent contradictions?

  1. First there was Heaven and Earth but Earth is a dark ocean.  Then God creates a firmament that horizontally bisects the dark ocean, which firmament He declares to also be Heaven.  So Heaven is Created, then Created again, this time with a portion of the dark ocean of the Earth on top of it.
  2. The Earth is lit on at least two separate occasions and night and day are created and separated, like, a bajillion times.
  3. Grass, herbs, and fruit are called forth from the Earth, and God sees that they are good.  Then, they're in the Earth again till the land is tended and/or God calls them forth in Eden alone.
  4. Every creature that moves, swims, or flies is created from the water before men & women.  Then beasts of the land are created of the earth, also before men & women.  Then men & women are created and given dominion over all the creatures of the Earth.  Then Adam is created, but is utterly alone.  Then everything that crawls, walks, or flies is created from the earth -- after Adam.
  5. As just mentioned, men & women are created after all other living creatures.  Then Adam is created before all land-based animals and birds, and Eve is created after.  No mention is made of sea life.

Wow.  That's quite a list.

Shut up, mortal, I'm thinking.

Are these contradictions?

No.  Clearly not.  God is omniscient & omnipotent.  His Creation was, and is, perfect.  So why the "contradictions"?  Let's take them in order.

1. Creation of Heaven, then an ocean-only Earth, then Heaven in the middle of the Earth-ocean.

Some would say that this is a capitalization error -- that the firmament separating the part of the ocean-only Earth that remained ocean from the part that became land and sea is "the heavens," meaning the sky, not Heaven.  But not me.  God, in revealing His perfect Word, did not abide such errors.  That's why the Bible contains none.

No, what happened here is that God created Heaven.  Then He took part of Earth and simply made more Heaven, with a saltwater pool in the middle.  It's now a favorite attraction of those saved through Christ.

2. Light created; night and day divided.  Then night & day again, along with seasons, years, and days.  Then light upon the Earth.  Then light upon the Earth again, which is subsequently separated into night and day.  Again.

Okay, now, there are those who would argue that this is the kind of additive repetition of elements is indicative of Genesis being a story passed on orally and eventually transcribed.  But that's incorrect.  Here's what really happened, all of which is entirely consistent and not at all contradictory.

First, God Created Light, which He separated into night and day.  Then, He separated the dark ocean of Earth with Heaven.  The light had been above the dark ocean and lit its surface, but now there was light, then light-absorbing water, than Heaven, complete with a ground, and then more dark ocean.  What remained of Earth's dark ocean -- that which would become the land and sea -- was again dark.  Not because there wasn't light, mind you, but because that light was occluded by half the dark ocean and Heaven.  The second Heaven, not the first one.

Moving on.

Then, after calling forth photosynthetic plants -- we'll discuss that in the next subsection -- God creates the categories of night and day, along with seasons, days, and years.  He just doesn't put anything into them yet.  They're Platonic forms, sitting there, unused.  Then He creates light upon the Earth, so the Earth is lit, but then takes that light to make the Sun, Moon, and stars, and His omnipresent hands blot the light out in relation to the Earth.  It's as simple as that.

Finally, He places the Sun, Moon, and stars in Heaven (the second-but-equally-as-Heaven Heaven, not the first Heaven, which is no more Heaven than the second one), and the Earth is not only lit, but the categories of Earthly night and day are put to use.

See?  No contradictions at all.

3. Grasses, herbs, and trees are created and called forth from the Earth, and God sees them upon the Earth, but then they're not present except in the Earth, and not only have to be tended and rained upon to come forth, but have to be called forth by God a second time in Eden specifically.

As you'll recall, God called these photosynthetic plants upon the Earth, which He subsequently lit.  But then He had to block that light to separate it into the Sun, Moon, and stars.  There was just enough time for those plants to spread their seeds before dying for total want of light.  So they were there, then died, and the second generation of plants was in the Earth waiting for rain and care.  As for the plants in Eden, God just re-did His work.  Obviously.

But, wait, why would an omniscient being not plan ahead so he didn't have to do the same thing all over--

Mystery of faith.  On to the last two, which I'll explain together.

4 & 5. Everything that moves, including fowl, is Created from the waters.  Then land creatures, a subset of everything that moves, are created from the earth.  Then men & women are Created and given dominion over every creature of the earth, sea, and air.  Then, somehow, all the living things are gone and God makes Adam alone.  Then God makes all the beasts of the land and air from the earth and gives Adam dominion over them (making no mention of creatures of the sea).  Then God makes Eve.

I'll be honest with you, this is the most difficult "contradiction" to confront.  Not because it's a clear inconsistency in a Creation myth derived from similar creation myths of religions that preceded Judaism.  No sir, because that's not the case.  It's difficult to confront because it is somewhat inconsistent with what we'll call "modern concepts of morality prohibiting omnicide."

Like I said above, God called forth all those photosynthetic plants.  They die for want of light.  Then he Creates all the beasts of the sea, air, and land from the waters, and finally, his greatest Creation: men & women.  Those men and women were unfortunately naked, exposed, surrounded mostly by salt water and unfamiliar with desalinization techniques, and unable to rely on any plants at all for food (because, as I mentioned, all the plants are dead already).

While men and women were able to hunt and kill some smaller herbivores without tools, weapons, or defenses against injury, those herbivores themselves had nothing to eat.  They quickly died off.  That left the omnivores -- and especially carnivores -- desperate for food.  As you may know, men and women are somewhat less than capable in unarmed combat against other animals.  So, while mankind had dominion over all other creatures, hunger doesn't care about concepts like dominion.  Humanity was thus slaughtered.  

Shortly thereafter, following their descents into scavenging and cannibalism, all the other creatures of the land and air died off as well.  Creatures of the sea, which did not depend as heavily on photosynthetic plants, survived -- which is why they're not mentioned as being created again.  Look at that! Consistency in Genesis.

And so it came to pass that God started over again with Adam.  He made sure Adam had plenty of viable plants to live on in Eden.  He also made sure that the animals, seeing themselves named by Adam, were clear on the whole dominion thing and let Adam (and Eve) be until Eve screwed it all up.

There you go.  No contradictions at all -- because of some minor issues involving light and photosynthesis, God's perfect Creation descended into an orgy of starvation and slaughter, and required a bit of a reboot.

Okay, holy shit, I'm going to be sick.  And again, how could an omniscient, omnipotent God not plan ahead so he didn't have to--

Mystery of faith.  Get with the program.

There you have it, mortals.  Genesis contains no contradictions at all, because Almighty God is a loving God who gets everything right the first time.

Farewell, and as always, I look forward to your comments!